The Big Balance: Judith Clegg

handsoff judith clegg

In the first of our new series looking at inspirational women who combine their career and their passion, we talk to Judith Clegg, CEO of Takeout, about The HANDS OFF Campaign which launches this summer.

“‘HANDS OFF’ started as a discussion with the other co-creators of the campaign, author and founder of Animals Actually, Cher Chevalier and sports lawyer Daniel Geey, in early 2016. It is an area we all feel strongly about. Things crystallised into a plan last September, with the aim to highlight and eradicate violence and aggression against women and children. HANDS OFF has three goals: that children and adults who are being abused will speak up, that abusers will stop and that violence becomes unacceptable.


The campaign will feature videos and selfies from celebrities and elite sportspeople - speaking out against violence. So far we have commitment from Premier League footballers and we’re in talks with boxers, pro-cyclists, F1 drivers and well-known actors and musicians. By saying HANDS OFF, they will be highlighting a statistic – one that most people understandably find shocking - that two women a week in England and Wales alone are killed by their current or former partners.


HANDS OFF will launch on social channels initially – under three hashtags, #handsoff #violenceisntonsohandsoff and #letsmakeitzero, which refers to our aim to reduce these shocking statistics. In terms of how long the campaign will run…well zero is our goal, and we’re here for as long as it takes. We’ve already received global interest too from sports teams abroad and plan to make it international and, in time, to do larger things such as concerts to raise awareness.


The driver for me in helping to create this is the decision I’ve made in my work and life, that I want to do the best I can do at all times to help others. As a previous victim of sexual assault, I feel that the scale of abuse of women and children in society is alarming. The three of us felt that if we had the opportunity with our connections and abilities to do something then we should.


I think that work and life in modern life are increasingly bleeding into each other and, to me, they’re not separate spheres. In life, my missions have become my passions and I’ve previously worked to set up other charities. Both HANDS OFF and the work I do at Takeout are things I take very seriously and they use similar parts of me; whether you’re creating new ideas for clients or building a campaign, you’re still creating something from nothing and bringing ideas into reality. You’re working on similar principles, absorbing information and turning it into a clear plan. I feel whatever you’re doing in life requires excellence - and in the same way that the clients who pay us demand excellence at all times, I think the two women a week who are killed by current or former partners, deserve our assistance and excellence every bit as much.


I understand the idea of balance keenly, and aim to make sure I meditate every day, I eat a plant-based diet and spend time with family, animals and out in nature to ensure I have the energy to do everything I need and want to. The biggest challenge is not having enough hours in the day to do everything. Prioritising - quickly - is essential and you have to be agile. I also believe you have to stick to your word and do what you say you’re going to, even if you’re tired and want to put it off to the next day. I am constantly working on this and most definitely don't get it right all the time. Obviously lots of people help me. Life is ultimately always about team work.


As HANDS OFF co-creator, Cher says in one of her books, “do good, be good, feel good” and it energises me to create things – and form a virtuous circle. When I was young in my career as an entrepreneur I remember my first deals happening and thinking, “now I know why people do it!” The highs of bringing things into reality are an amazing feeling, whether that is business or a social campaign, and especially if it is doing something to help others.”


Judith Clegg Handsoff takeout

Judith Clegg is founder and CEO of Takeout, an innovation consultancy that develops products, strategies and new revenues for some of the world’s best-known companies.